The forgotten No Limit Soldier who could rhyme speaks out from prison, peep it...
From Online Word Of South Magazine
Former No Limit Soldier McKinley J. Phipps Jr., better known to his fans as MAC was arrested on February 21, 2000 on a second degree murder charge. To this day MAC claims his innocence. On September 21, 2001, MAC was convicted of manslaughter and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. MAC has not had an interview with any publication since his imprisonment. Therefore, with this exclusive interview MC speaks to WordofSouth and allows you to hear his story.
WOS: How are you holding up in there man?
MAC: Well, I guess I'm holding up the best that I can. You know prison isn't a favorable environment I can say that.
WOS: If you do not mind, and if you can speak about it, take us back to the night at that club.
MAC: Well, what basically happened was I was in town (Slidell). I just came off a tour, and I was coming to town to make an appearance at a party. I was signing autographs about 11:30, 12 o'clock at night. It's really one of those situations that I can't say too much about.
WOS: From what I have read, the Prosecution really did not have a case against you but they used your lyrics and your nicknames to convict you. Is this true?
MAC: Very true. What I think actually happened was they went and listened to my albums and... somebody that knew a lot about rap probably told them some things. They basically went and built my character from my songs.
WOS: Are you trying to appeal the sentence or anything?
MAC: Yes, we are definitely trying to fight it. We're really trying to prove my innocence more then anything. The other stuff will be secondary, but we really trying to prove my innocence.
WOS: So how is that working out?
MAC: Well, right now we are in the process of doing something that's real, that really can help the situation. But as I said earlier, I can't too much talk about that.
WOS: Will you get any chance for parole?
MAC: Well, really and truthfully I ain't trying to think about parole. I'm just thinking about proving my innocence.
WOS: How is life in jail compared to the free world for the people who think that Jail is all good?
MAC: Man jail is definitely not all good. It's more of a mental thing in jail. I think being away from your family and just being in a controlled environment where you have people basically dictate when you do this, when you do that. I think it's more of a mental thing then anything, so it's definitely not a good place to be.
WOS: How has being locked up changed you as a person?
MAC: I don't think jail really changed me. I think jail is giving me time to basically become one with myself again. You know at some point I wasn't knowing who I truly was' and I think everybody goes through that stage. But I think when jail came, it basically gave me time to connect with myself.
WOS: How often do you get to see your family and friends?
MAC: Well, where I'm at now we can get visits every two weeks so my family and my girl comes up here... and I get to see them and that what's basically keeping me going.
WOS: Has anyone from the old No Limit camp stayed in touch with you?
MAC: Well, I talk to them from time to time but you know its more like if I need to talk to them or if I need them for anything I call, but my main concern is trying to get up out of here.
WOS: I remember a few years ago and Master P was yellin' Free MAC and how he was trying to get you out. Was there any truth at all to his claim?
MAC: Well, like I said I can't get into certain things, but I will say there was some truth to it. He was trying to do what he could do with the circumstances that were handed to him, and like I said this is my bad and this is something I have to get myself out of because I got myself into it.
WOS: What was your relationship like with Big Ed and Soulja Slim, and what will you always remember about two?
MAC: Well, Big Ed was like a big brother to me. Every time Big Ed went somewhere he always brought me along. I didn't really know Ed from back in the days or anything. I kinda met Ed when I signed with No Limit cause Ed was from California. We bonded immediately. I guess we were like two people of the same kind. I use to travel with him. Me and Big Ed grew to be like brothers man, and it really kinda messed me up when I found out he had cancer cause it was like something all of a sudden out the blue. I think what I remember most about Ed was he was a good leader, and he was a real down to earth person. Now Slim on the other hand, I been knowing slim since elementary school, man. I'm talking about Slim has seen me go through a million different things (and) I done seen him go though some things. I knew that dude basically my whole life, and I think what I remember most about Slim is he always had fun. Slim smiled everyday. No matter how hard the circumstance was, I can't remember a time in my life seeing Slim actually stressed out. Slim always smiled and always had fun
WOS: I know that you are still writing because you are currently making an album. How have you evolved as a writer and an artist over the years?
MAC: I think what's strange is I just made a 360 degree turn. I think what had happened is I probably went back to what I was in the beginning, before my experience with the music business. I guess I kinda took it back to just when I used to do it for me and my homies. You know, when it was from the heart, when I wasn't concerned about what's gonna sell and things like that. So I think what I am doing now is basically what I intended on doing from the beginning, and that was just doing music because I loved it and not because it was a business.
WOS: Tell me about the album that you are trying to put together and how is that coming along.
MAC: Right now, everything is coming along cool. The songs are recorded and (there are some) previous recordings and I did some new songs. Nobody heard any of the songs really, and the album is basically a collection of things I have done over the years and some of the songs that I think were best out of the ones I (had). I think people gonna enjoy it because it will give people a chance to hear me at different stages in my career, and I don't know that there any other artist that's out there doing something like this. It does give people a chance to know who I am.
WOS: Who do you have producing and is anyone featured on the album?
MAC: Well, I'm gonna keep the features a surprise. The producers (are) people like myself, my sister Tybra, my sister Tiffany, my brother Ghost, XL, Bass Heavy, the Psycho Ward, DJ Raj, Smoove, and more.
WOS: When is your album coming out?
MAC: I'm trying to release it around my birthday next July. Trying to bring it out by the end of July.
WOS: Do you know whose going to distribute it?
MAC: Keep all that a secret. Keep all that a secret
WOS: Do they allow you to listen to music in there?
MAC: Yeah we got people that let us listen to music. We just were allowed to listen to CD players like a month or two ago. They got all the new music in here.
WOS: How do you feel about the current state of hip-hop and the south's dominance in recent times? Any criticism of southern hip-hop?
MAC: Hmmm. I think it's good because every location had they time. You know New York had they time, the west coast had they time, I guess the Midwest had they time, and the south on right now. Eventually it gon' go back in a circle. I think it's good, I think all of it's good. Ya know I would like to see more rappers be more responsible about what they're saying as far as the kids, but I do think everything has it's place. I think it's good. At one time, it was like ok, I'll rap with some south rappers, New York stuck with New York, the west stuck with the west but now it's like everybody is collaborating with everybody so it's kind of cool.
WOS: What was your favorite moment in Hip-Hop? MAC: Probably when I heard the "Let the Rhythm Hit 'them" by Eric B & Rakim. That was one of my favorite moments in hip-hop. When I first bought, the Let the Rhythm Hit 'them album I listened to it (all the time).
WOS: I heard that Nas is your favorite artist. Is that true?
MAC: Actually, my favorite artist is Lauryn Hill. I like Lauryn Hill, I like Nas, I like a lot of old school, I like Jay-Z. I like a lot of people from the south. I'm into the Outkasts, the Goodie Mobs, the Scarfaces. I like everybody, everybody that's really doing something. Everybody that's really talking about something. You know I like the other stuff too, but I mainly (am) a big fan of people who put messages in they music.
WOS: Shell Shocked or World War 3?
MAC: I don't know. I'm a plead the fifth on that one, because I think both of them served they purpose. I think they two different albums. One of them was me excited, new to the business. Of course that was the Shell Shocked album. World War was more of an emotional album because I was going through a lot of things in my life. I was growing up and I was going through a lot of different things. World War probably had a little more of a gloomy edge to it, where Shell Shocked was hype.
WOS: What was your most memorable moment when recording your two albums?
MAC: Whoa, whoa. I think the spookiest moment was when I recorded the end of the album I think when I re-did the song Lockdown. That was like the last song I recorded for World War 3 and that song ended up describing the next few years of my life. Now I'm actually living what was said in that song, almost word for word, so I think that has to be the most memorable moment when recording any of those albums.
WOS: Anything that you want to say before we wrap this up?
MAC: Yeah, I definitely wanna say thanks to everybody who wrote me, sent a card, anybody that really thought about me. All of my fans, my friends, all my partners, everybody out there across the region, across the country. All the fans, I just wanna say thank you to everybody I missed. Everybody I mentioned made me what I am today It was all one big experience, and we constantly growing and I'm constantly changing my life. I just wanna say to everybody that you know it's ok to grow, it's ok to change, and you know a lot of cases you get caught up in: I got to keep it real, I gotta keep it this way, keep it that way but I think it's more important to keep it real to yourself, and being true to yourself is growing, that's an essential part of life. It's ok to lose sometimes, it's ok to cry. If more people cried, I think the world would be a better place.
WOS: Well I appreciate you taking your time to do this interview and I really do hope things work out for you and when you get your album done you know holla at me and I will do my best to do what I can do to you know sell it on the site, the streets, to get it to the fans.
MAC: Man.Aye man, I appreciate that man. I appreciate that more then you understand. I would like to thank you too. I want to say peace to WordofSouth.com and that's from "The Immaculate" himself